Monday, 5 November 2012

Caring for your down filled outerwear.

I recently had an email from Kay asking me how to care for a down filled coat and I appreciate washing one can be a very daunting task indeed.

I remember my first down filled jacket. It was from Gap and it was cream in colour (stupid winter outerwear colour choice) and I followed the washing instructions to a "T" even down to the adding a tennis ball to the tumble dryer, but to no avail and I had to return it as the padding never fluffed up inside and it was in lumpy bumpy patches throughout the jacket and I was far from impressed, especially when I took it back only to find that there was nothing similar left in store so it couldn't be replaced.  I bought another one from Monsoon and had no problems with that one.

In the first year of starting this Blog I was on the hunt for a puffa coat which had to be black and had to have a hood.  A day like today with high winds and heavy rain do not a good umbrella combination make, so for me a hood is essential in bad weather and as black goes with everything, it was easy to see why I made my choice and bought my coat early in September 2009 from John Lewis.

Fast forward three years and I washed my coat at the start of the summer on a good drying day (all part of being organised for next season).  I washed it in the machine on a 30 degree wash, dried it as much as possible on the washing line on a hot and sunny day, then put it in the tumble dryer with some "dryer balls" I picked up in Dunelm for about 99p for an hour on the low heat setting to really fluff the insides up.

The label didn't mention putting it in the dryer but I knew I needed to, to fluff it up.

From my previous Gap jacket experience, I appreciate that this sounds easy and it may not work with your particular coat or jacket but the most important thing is that you follow the washing instructions and if things don't work out as they should, be sure to return it ASAP along with the receipt which hopefully you have kept.

There is no foolproof way to achieve washing success, I've been lucky with my current one I know, and for those of you who might be lucky enough to own a designer coat which has cost a fortune (think Burberry, Maxmara or Moncler) then you are bound to be nervous and need to proceed with caution.  I felt I didn't really have a great deal to lose and was convinced I would have to buy a new one this year, as it only cost around £70, but I guess John Lewis quality has proved itself again this time round and my coat will keep me warm for another winter at least.

Beautifully puffed up!

Have you ever washed a Puffa Coat with ease or had a disaster with the wadding?


  1. I bought a down filled puffa jacket in the US last year and when I went to wash it, I was very amused to see that the drying instructions included '3 tennis balls in tumble dryer on low heat'. I'd never washed or dried a puffa jacket before, so this was news to me! It worked a dream and as my jacket is white (daft winter colour I know) it's been washed many times since and still puffs up beatifully. Incidentally, loving the colour of your nail polish :)

  2. I thought I'd ruined a Lands End down gilet recently when it dried flat as a pancake but a good few vigorous shakes, like fluffing up a duvet, got it back as good as new.

  3. My puffer/puffa? is from Hobbs and I just wash it at 30. It's always come out just as puffy. It's usually dry too after a 1500 rpm spin.


  4. Great blog post Sharron! I've a cream Tommy puffa coat and yes, tumble dry it till it cries for mercy! Works a treat! I've to wash mine so much so I speak from experience! Funny enough, your label in the photo says do not tumble dry!? Don't understand that. I think clothing manufacturers put the most restrictive stuff on their labels so we can't return them if it goes wrong in the wash. For instance, I machine wash most of my hand wash only items. Works a treat as long as you do it on a cooler wool cycle. Your coat looks as good as new - obviously good quality. Avril x

  5. Some good advice. I must get some dryer balls. I must say if I have an expensive puffa I take it too the dry cleaners as I am nervous. Have just bought a Uniglo one. One of their super light versions for travelling and will definitely wash that one.

  6. I always wash my Primark puffa coat and hang out on the line in the summer and that's it. No ball clumping or anything. I wouldn't dare put it in the tumble dryer for fear of it catching on fire.

  7. Great post ! I must pick up some of those dryer balls and I'm in need of a new puffa coat too:)
    ~Anne xx

  8. I washed mine at 30 degrees too and dried it naturally - as good as new! X

  9. You can buy special washing liquid for down filled coats/jackets from ski and outdoor shops. A little more pricey than normal washing stuff but well worth it. e xxx


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